Posts Tagged ‘DMO’

Oregon, a front-runner in social media, just launched Ask Oregon, a program that connects visitors to Oregon experts through twitter, Facebook and email.

There are 14 ambassadors who are experts in areas around the state as well as interests such as cycling, rafting, fishing, golf, wine, beer and history. These experts have credibility and only enhance the customer service experience that is part of social media for tourism organizations.

Just send a tweet with the #askOR hashtag, post your question on their Facebook page or head to their special Ask Oregon Facebook tab for a link to send an email. It’s a great concept!

Well done, Oregon!

Disclosure: Ask Oregon is managed though Travel Oregon and Sparkloft Media, my employer.

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Calling all CVBs!!

I’m researching how CVBs are using social media, especially with niche accounts, and could use your help. Please take a few minutes to send me the names/URLs of your social media accounts in this google doc or use the form below.

Thank you!


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The July Tourism Currents post talks about integrating social media into the rest of your communications work. In addition to this, it seems like many businesses and CVBs need help combining their social media efforts with other marketing efforts.

Since the weather around Chicago has been in the low 90s lately, now is the perfect time to start thinking about winter campaigns. What do you usually do and how can you enhance that with social media?

SplashAs an example, my previous job, a regional DMO, used to have a “Winter Warm-ups” campaign a few years ago that offered special hotel deals from January – March. The campaign elements consisted of a printed newsletter, monthly e-newsletters, a special landing page, online ads, radio ads and a few print ads. So how do you make something like this social? Here are a few ideas:

  • Create a custom Facebook tab for the campaign, especially if you have a booking engine on your page.
  • Offer additional discounts or special value-added items just for your Facebook fans or twitter followers. Free wifi, if it’s not free already, is a great start! Give them a special code to use when they book the package.
  • Set up searches on twitter to find people who need a winter getaway. Yes, you have to do a bit more digging than normal but you could look for parents who might want a family getaway at a hotel with an indoor pool. Whatever you do, don’t just link to a generic page. Connect them with what you believe is the best package for them. Do the work so they don’t have to.
  • Upload photos to flickr (and link to them on your social networks) of the special amenities the participating hotels offer. A relaxing spa looks even better when you’re buried in snow with sub-zero temperatures.
  • Run a social media contest to help build awareness for the campaign.
  • If your campaign is tied to an event, consider creating a hashtag and encouraging people to share their twitpics or photos on your Facebook page.

And remember, this is only a tiny part of your complete social media strategy. Yes, a strategy is needed for social media. And not just a “we provide customer service” strategy, although that’s a great place to start. An ever-changing, always-evaluating-and-adjusting, enhancing-other-efforts SOCIAL strategy is needed. How are you making your campaigns social?

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First there was planking. Then came owling.

BowTie July: Day 18Planking became extremely popular in May, sweeping Australia and making its way to the US. It’s the art of lying down flat with yours arms stiff at your side. There’s a Planking Facebook page but I highly suggest checking out these 65 Best Planking Pictures From Around the World.

Owling, first documented on July 11, 2011, is a variation of planking where a person squats like an owl. Of course all the fun is in choosing a unique or strange location for your owling photo. You can find great examples in ‘Owling’ Is The New ‘Planking’ and there’s an Owling Facebook page as well.

Gainesville posted an owling photo on their Facebook wall this week. I think it’s great to see a CVB actually use a trend while it’s still trending. Way to go!

Give some love to my #SoMeT friend John Pricher by following Gainesville on Facebook and Twitter.

Keep your eye out for the next trend and don’t be afraid to jump on it!

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Two recent videos have caught my eye for the unique way that they promote their destination.

The Grand Rapids LipDub video went viral, hitting more than 2.5 million views in the first two weeks. It was created as a response to an article in Newsweek calling Grand Rapids a “dying city.”


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The Feb 24 #tourismchat focused on Facebook Pages (transcript). You can also download the transcript as a PDF.

Here are my chat highlights:

  • You can somewhat “hack” the photos at the top of your page. Upload new photos (no need to publish the album to your news feed) and they will be displayed across the top. If you don’t like one of the photos, mouse over the photo and click the X when it appears. (more…)

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The Feb 3 #tourismchat focused on Blogging for Destinations (transcript). You can also download the transcript as a PDF.

Here are my chat highlights:

  • WordPress seemed to be the favored platform among chat participants. Tumblr and Blogger were also mentioned.
  • When it came to in-house blogging vs. using outside bloggers, many of the chat participants did it in-house. However two great examples of using outside bloggers are the Indiana Insider Blog and the Travel Oregon Blog.
  • How do you find outside bloggers? Two excellent examples: Indiana Insider Blogger Application and Travel Oregon Blogger Guidelines.
  • Using a content/editorial calendar is necessary but you must leave room for flexibility.

There was much more conversation about how blogging platforms affect SEO, whether to pay bloggers and marketing your blog so definitely check out the entire chat transcript!

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